Welcome back…?

So after a long period of deliberation, on top of the cares of life that has kept me from consistently sharing things via my lovely blog, I have been encouraged to start blogging again! Also with a twist of vlogging here and there. And I’m really excited about it! I’m excited to get started, and there is a lot that I feel to act on and talk about and shine light on. So let’s get started! It’s 2:30 in the morning, though, so I will probably start tomorrow. I’m in need of a healthy place to think outwardly and come to healthy conclusions and just say some things that need to be said.

With love,
Ordinary Ari.

A true virtuous woman focuses on perfecting her soul, unlike beauty and charm, her salvation is what makes her priceless above the rest.

What’s In A Name?

"She girds herself with strength, and strengthens her arms." (Proverbs 31:17)

Ariel: (Origin: Hebrew) “Lioness of God”

Lioness: A female lion; Lion - of great strength and courage; a person of great importance, influence, and charm; physically able and strong.

When I think of a lioness, I think of her strength and her readiness and willingness to work.  Work that pertains to preserving the life of her children and keeping her family together for her husband.  I think if God’s virtuous woman was an animal, she’d be a lioness. Strangely enough, this is what my mother named me.  I always knew this was what my name meant, but I never knew what my name really meant.  What’s in a name, anyway? My mother and I hold competitions with each other over the most horrible names we come across during the day, every day.  And my sister and I are convinced that names have personalities of their own!  I mean come on, have you ever met a Josiah that wasn’t quiet yet brilliant? Or an Andrea that wasn’t a “pretty girl”? Or an Ashley that wasn’t talkative?  A Steve that’s not a “funny guy”, or a guy with any exotic or slightly girly name that wasn’t gorgeous? Exactly! What we name our children is very important! And I’ve received so many compliments on how pretty my name sounds, but if only they knew what it meant! And “Wow!” at what I have my whole life to live up to! A lioness of GOD!

A lioness is protective, she’s about the business of her husband, and the business of her family, and she’s amazing at it.  I need to be about GOD’s business like she’s about her husband’s, and I need to take care of my family as long as I’m in this house, like she takes care of hers. Whenever the next time I’m with a group who’s playing the, “If I were an animal…” game, I would want someone to say that I remind them of a lion because of how they see me intercede in prayer for my family, how I bring my sister to church with me faithfully, how protective I am of her and my brother, how I teach them everything I know about how to be virtuous and pure until marriage, about how my parents trust me because of my loyalty and obedience toward them, and of my strength, readiness, courage, willingness, commitment, motivation, and discipline in God, for God, and when speaking of God. I want my future husband to choose me because of my strength.  He’s going to need to know that I am strong enough to have his back, and keep the household in order for him - not just with cooking and cleaning, but raising our children to be strong in God, as well.  I will protect them like a lioness protects her cubs. I will hold my family together! That’s a lot of work for one woman! Imagining her strength just amazes me, because the Bible considers woman to be the “weaker vessel” (1 Peter 3:7), meaning that my husband is going to be even stronger than I.  So I need to start getting stronger now, while I’m single, so that God will send me a strong man to head my household.  Just knowing that a wife can only be as strong as her husband, makes me to know that I need to be as strong as possible before he comes so he’ll know where he needs to be in order to have me.

I had no idea that getting to know the virtuous woman would lead me on a path to getting to know who I am.  I know that lioness is in me somewhere, I just need to find her.  I know that everyone is different, but she is my key to becoming Proverbs 31:10-31 in my life.

Long story, short… Be very cautious and wise of what you name your children, it has a great effect of who they are and who they will choose to become! Oh, and thanks Mom! :)

Do I Love Myself Enough?

Do I love myself enough?

Am I so tangled in the idea of loving someone else that I forgot about me?

Physically, spiritually, mentally loving me enough to want to be the best me that I can be before I add someone else to the equation.

Do I love myself enough to want to be who God wants me to be?

Do I care about myself enough to want to live the righteous life God designed so I don’t go to Hell?

Do I love myself enough to wait for the man God has for me rather than settle for someone who will eventually leave me unhappy and unsatisfied?

Do I love myself enough to go through trials and tribulations to get to the victory that I deserve?

Do I love myself enough to get up in the mornings and sacrifice sleep to have a stronger prayer life?

Do I love myself enough to cut off the people that are keeping me from walking with God? No matter who they are?

Do I love myself enough to say “no” when it’s wrong, to turn away when it’s not beneficial, to discipline myself when it’s taking over, to close my eyes when it desensitizes me, to close my ears when it’s not edifying, and to shut my mouth when it’s detrimental to someone else?

Do I love myself enough to get rid of my old heart, my old mind, and my old ways to adopt the new ways God has laid out in His word for me so I can be free?

Do I love myself enough?

Am I too wrapped up in my flesh that I don’t see that selfishness is not a result of too much “self love”, but of “self hate” in disguise?

Because selfishness leads to sin, and sin to death - Where’s the love in that?

Where is the love in procrastination?

Where is the love in gossip?

Where is the love in lust and jealousy?

Where is the love in impatience?

Where is the love in anxiety?

Where is the love in worry and stress?

Where is the love in the midst of all Hell breaking out in our lives because of our own wrong turns and mistakes?

It always has been and forever will be in Christ. But He should be in our hearts. And we should love ourselves enough to love Him more for the sakes of our eternal souls and life on Earth.

This is the first poem I’ve written, since I’ve been in Christ, that has literally felt complete. After three years of not being able to grasp my thoughts and emotions through words, I have not felt more relieved. It’s not the best thing, but I love it so much! Special thanks to a friend that gave me the topic of love, and helped me to question, “Do I love myself enough?” You know who you are :)

CeCe Winans - More

the Proverbs 31 me.

It occurred to me on numerous occasions that though I was progressing in my walk with Christ where I was, I could be (and should be) pushing myself to go further than I was.  I was cheating myself out of all that God has for me, as a single woman, by taking baby steps knowing that I’ve grown out of the “babe in Christ” walk already.  To be single in Christ, if done correctly and whole-heartedly, could easily be equated with being ‘on fire for the Lord’ because we are called to serve the Lord without any distraction! (1 Corinthians 7:32-35) So I decided that this month would be the month that I would push myself to do just that! I remembered that last year I did a 21 day fast/consecration and it benefited me so much! This time around I’ve noticed my thoughts being consumed with marriage and companionship, so if that’s what my flesh wants & my heart desires, we will have to submit and do it the right way - God’s way! Instead of settling with the idea of being in a relationship and occupying my mind with what I want in a husband, I’ve decided to focus on what God’s standards are for a good wife.  I want to be beautiful in His eyes first.

So with that being said, I’ve set out to find the Proverbs 31 me. Thanks to my bestest, Destini, I was introduced to a book written by Elizabeth George called, “Beautiful In God’s Eyes" that breaks down Proverbs 31:10-31, chapter by chapter and how to apply it to your life. The first chapter was “A Rare Treasure: Her Character” describing  the virtuous woman as an army of virtues divided into two categories: a powerful mind (pure, honest, industrious, thrifty, strong in character, kind, wise, & holy) and a powerful body (she works willingly with her hands, she works early in the morning & late into the night,nurses the needy, never idle, etc.) 

The second chapter was “A Sparkling Jewel: Her Value” which describes the lives the husbands lived daily and how important that the wife was pleasing to come home to.  She must be a valuable jewel to have around - for him, and their children.  They should be glad to see her, at ease around her, and to increase our sparkle we should grow in practical skills like homemaking, money management, and time management. Also, we should grow in emotional stability, mastering our tolerance (endurance through tough times), mastering our tempers, & mastering our tongues (say less and think about what you say before you say it, making sure your speech is wise, kind & edifying). 

With this book and my Bible as my tool guide, I look forward to my rough edges becoming smooth and my dark places becoming polished by the Lord. I’m well on my way to finding “her”… I can’t wait to meet her in the mirror :)

Canton Jones - Worshipper

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not.

Galatians 6:9 NKJV

Caution: Hard Hats Needed - Under MAJOR Construction

I’m broken. God did it. But it’s okay because He’s the one that’s piecing me back together, and I trust His hands. What right does the clay have to tell the Potter how to mold it? None. For a split second I considered, “Am I sure this is what God wants me to do?” Then I was reassured… yes it is. Because I know that the same direction your glory comes from also brings pain and tribulation. The wisdom of man tells us, “Whats worth having is worth fighting for.” And it’s the truth! Consider your relationship with Christ. Biblically we will suffer tribulation for Christs’ sake, because He suffered also for us and overcame.

The foundation of building a new me, is learning who I am in Christ. I’ve done so much imitating, comparing, and measuring myself by others - whether it’s valuing their opinion over my own, accepting others’ condemnation, expecting too much and/or giving too much - and I’m at my wit’s end. It’s caused so much confusion in my life, that I could hardly control myself. My thoughts, my emotions, my attitude, and my behavior were all magnified until I was overwhelmed! Who I am inside was screaming, buried alive underneath everyone else’s thoughts and approvals of me. How could I ever dedicate myself fully to Christ if I had no idea what to do or where to start? I was a mess! But now, with the help and hand of God, I am rebuilding me.

I’ve heard it a million times before… But now I truly know what it means. Falling apart is the best thing that happened to me because God is so near. I’ve found Him, again… I can hear Him, again… I can feel His presence early in the morning and He holds me together late at night. Knowing who I am is a blessing because if you don’t know, you’ll be tossed to and fro by other people’s standards… Other people like Satan. I didn’t know so he tried to tell me, “you’re a mistake”… “you’re a mess”… “you’re disappointing to God”… “you can’t do that”… “you CAN’T DO THAT!”… “YOU CAN’T DO ANYTHING.”… I was SO TIRED of hearing that & feeling that way! Why didn’t I look to God’s word before? Because I thought I knew who I was, but I was wrong. This was a battle, that I knew for sure, so I put the armor of God on and started fighting! Then something amazing happened… God started speaking. From seeking godly counsel, waking up at 5am to pray, read, and start my day, going to Sunday morning prayer & worship, hearing the word, going to bible study… God started to speak.

And I’m officially under construction. I cannot wait to see what He will do & say next! I’ll keep you posted this time :)

Pray for me and I will be praying for you.

Love, Ari

Tedashii _ Dum Dum feat. Lecrae